Gas vs Induction
Confessions of a lover of big, sexy, professional style gas ranges
In 2020, we began the journey of fuel swapping our home. We had moved to fully electric cars all the way back in 2014, and the house was next. I understood the myriad benefits and was eager to swap our gas water heater to a much more efficient heat pump water heater, and our zoned gas furnace to mini-split heat pumps. The duct monster in the drop ceiling of our basement would be drastically reduced and allow us to raise the ceiling. Where the excitement and the planned electrification journey stopped, was at the gas cooktop. I was even prepared, though begrudgingly, to continue paying the monthly base charge of roughly $40 for the privilege of cooking on gas. That’s about $500 per year.
Why was I stopping at cooking? I was still under the spell of gas marketing, and awareness of induction’s capabilities was unknown to us. I had experienced the old and very budget versions of electric radiant cooktops, whether the coil type or the newer glass surfaces. I had burned plenty of food in the pan, burnt on food when the pan boiled over, and lived with the dirty, scratched surfaces that resulted. When I built my first house in the early aughts, I had been exposed to the prestigiousness of dual fuel ranges. It had been decided that electric was the best for ovens, and gas was the best for cooktops, or so I was told. When we purchased our current home in 2015, it came with 2 kitchens, which is rather common in our general area of Atlanta. Both had gas cooktops, and as I mentioned previously, had no intention of fuel swapping our cooking when we renovated. I preferred the speed of gas cooking, ability to reduce heat (the flame) quickly, and don’t gas cooktops look sexy?!
So how in the world, did we end up ditching gas cooking this past December? As with all electrification opportunities, it turns out there were multiple benefits that were hard to ignore: indoor air quality improvements and superior cooking performance.
As we spent more time inside, we cooked more and became much more aware of our home’s air quality. During the first few months of the pandemic, my husband was having trouble breathing and needing to utilize his inhaler at maximum use daily. As you can imagine, this was very concerning, especially with how catching COVID might make this worse. While he tried to get help with doctors, we also began digging deep into understanding and improving our home’s air quality. We installed a whole home dehumidifier to reduce possible allergens and dust mites that thrive in humidity above 50%, installed an ERV to bring in fresh air, and vented our over the range microwave which was not ducted to the exterior, an issue that is quite common. All of this helped, but didn’t change the fact we were still cooking on open combustion inside our home.
Then there was the actual performance and look of induction. I won’t go deep into the performance now, we will be sharing that in future content. But make no mistake, induction outperforms the speed, control, and response of gas cooking. Induction heats up quickly and evenly, boils water in half the time, and is great not only in reducing heat quickly avoiding boil overs and burning food, it excels at low temperature settings needed for sauces or melting dark chocolate and butter for brownies! All of this without the combustion gases in your home, heating up the kitchen, and is super easy to clean up thanks to not burning on anything that spills. And the looks…these new indiction ranges come in a wide range of looks, and they impress. They still have that chunky pro look, and the sleek minimal cooking surface delivers a sexy modern vibe.
If you’re stuck on gas cooking, I urge you to be open. Be curious, explore more and try the technology for yourself. If you can’t try it out in a showroom, a great budget friendly trial of induction can be had by purchasing a single burner portable induction cooktop. We tried this unit, which is usually on Amazon for around $70. The performance was enough to confirm we were making the right switch before making the investment in a full-size range. And to be sure, while the performance of the portable unit was great, it doesn’t perform as well as a full-size cooktop or range. Prepare to be blown away, along with better air quality and breathing easier.